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Old 27 May 2003
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Boulder, CO USA
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Australia Tracks

I'm thinking of riding some of the dirt tracks as I wind my way from Sydney to Darwin. The ones I have in mind are the Gulf Development Rd from nearby Cairns to Normanton, the Sandover (or Plenty) Highway, and the Tanami.

Are these tracks suitable for my large BMW PD fully loaded? I assume there will be lots of interminable corrugation as I encountered on Kangaroo Island. How about deep sand or bull dust? Those aren't my favorite conditions with a large loaded BMW :-)

The range on my PD is about 250 miles (~400 kms) before reserve. The Tanami looks like it might be the only one where I might have problems with gasoline availability, especially if I'm travelling during the middle of the week when the roadhouse in the middle is closed. Am I correct that I shouldn't have problems getting gas on the other tracks? Even on the Tanami I think I should be ok if I can go 400 km, unless the deep sand and bull dust sucks down my gas ;-)

Any other advice or web pages that you can point me to would be appreciated. Keep in mind that I'll be travelling alone in the April timeframe. Thanks.

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Old 5 Jun 2003
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Sydney , NSW, Australia
Posts: 29

on the Plenty Hwy and the Tanami you will defineately strike some sand. A 400km fuel range will get you most places in Oz, the best idea is to ask local info as you go because remote stations and aboriginal settlements that sell fuel can change. Their is a huge store of knowledge of outback bike traveling on the Oz Adventure riders list, check out http://groups.yahoo.com/group/oz_adventure_riders/





Honda Africa Twin
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Old 13 Jun 2003
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Back in Asia
Posts: 342
Hi there

I don't know where you are right now? I rode along the plenty last June from cairns to Alice and then to Perth. I rode an adventure and only hit the dirt once in thick bulldust. If you take your time you will be ok and try and ride the bad bits early in the morning!

I will be in Cairns on the 17/06 and will be going for a ride somewhere around that area. I am from there so know most of the outback roads. if you lik eplease give us a call and I will be able to show you some great places to see around the area. I was going to take a trip on the development road to Chilligoe and camp up on the Walsh river for a few days. Your welcome to join if you like?

Ok happy travels

Ivan (dingo)
mob: 0417 580 272
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Old 28 Jun 2003
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Alice Springs, Australia
Posts: 4
g'day Story.
you'll have no trouble with your fuel range on the plenty hwy. i rode it in jan '03 and the longest stretch w/o fuel is Boulia - Tobermorey Station, about 250km if i recall. There's fuel at Jervois and Gemtree nearer Alice Springs.
Plenty of sand and bulldust, though conditions are much better on the NT side of the border.
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